Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, says the Executive Order 5 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari will make Nigeria self reliant and less dependent on other countries.
The Minister said this on Tuesday in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the Association of Consulting Engineers in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on February 5, 2018 signed the Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Onu said Executive Order 5 would change Nigeria permanently and help to develop the country from within.
He hinted that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was championing the implementation of “this very important executive order”.
He told the association that the order shall help all its members as consultants to benefit tremendously.
He tasked the association to take the lead as Nigerian Engineers in all project designs that had engineering or science components.
Onu said: “It doesn’t matter whichever consultant you are hiring, but that they will work with our own Nigerian Consulting Engineers and that you will take the lead.
“This is a big challenge for you and I believe very strongly that the 300 firm members that you have must see this as a very big challenge and responsibility.
“The nation now relies on you to make sure that Nigerian professionals will now be directly involved in the design and execution of projects.”
The Minister also tasked the association to facilitate the involvement of Nigerian professionals in contracts and to integrate the engineering and science components.
According to him, if this is not done, it means that the country shall continue to depend on foreign professionals for technology.
He said it was left for the country to find a way to compete by developing those technologies, making sure that all projects embarked upon involved Nigerian professionals.
“And it is the consultants that can harness this, that can handle this.”
The Minister said what was important was for the ministry to do its best and to support and work closely with any association that would help achieve great things for Nigeria.
Onu said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to growing the economy, making sure that new jobs were created and moving 100 million Nigerians out of poverty the next 10 years.
He said for this to be made possible, the association had an important role to play.
Earlier, the President of the association, George Okoroma, said the purpose of the visit was to formally invite the Minister to be the Chairman of the investiture of its 18th president.
Okoroma said the investiture would hold on February 20, noting that the ministries that were close to the members were the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Works.
He explained to the Nigerian public that no one could practice consulting as a firm without officially registering with ACEN.